Words and pics by Lou
My pre-walk had checked out a slightly different route through the Rougham Hall estate, encountering horses, cows, long wet grass, waist-high nettles, and a (docile) bull. My fellow IOGers were spared these trials in favour of a short stretch of road with fast cars and no footpath. Having survived this, we entered Rougham Park along a curving driveway lined with splendid trees. A bridge allowed us to safely cross the A14, following which some participants were slightly concerned when I strode off in the opposite direction to our destination. This was of course intentional, to bring us to an avenue of lime trees leading to Rougham Church. The rain held off, and we even had a few glimpses of blue sky as we wended our way across the fields and through the woods towards Rushbrooke. Here we lunched in the church porch.
Some discussion ensued as to whether the dampness in the air constituted rain, but it had all but stopped before we had reached a conclusion. Our route took us through the whitewashed buildings of the village and north-westwards on a direct trajectory to Bury. Just as we were gaining in confidence that we would beat the rain, it started pouring down. We consoled ourselves with the thought that we only had half an hour’s walk to the pub, in contrast to the coast-to-coast walkers who had been enduring far worse. A few minutes later the rain stopped and we had just about dried out by the time we approached the centre of Bury through the Abbey grounds. One of our number decided to head straight to the station in an ambitious attempt to be back in Ipswich for the football match, but the remaining eight all enjoyed the hospitality at the Masons Arms.
Map of the route – zoomable at https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/1535024/Thurston-to-Bury-St-Edmunds-160917